A return to normalcy, or at least, Kill la Kill style normalcy. True to Satsuki’s words in episode 3, numerous clubs have been after Ryuko’s head. We open with her taking on the biology club, who have again employed the strategy of kidnapping Mako (which I can see becoming a running gag). While this is happening, Tsumugu Kinagase attempts to infiltrate Honnouji Academy, and manages to take down the gardening Club by using weaponry which renders Ultima Uniforms useless.
Tsumugu wants to destroy Ryuko’s Godrobe and save her from the same fate as someone dear to him. Satsuki and the Four Devas become aware of his presence, however, and intend to eliminate both him and Ryuko in one fell swoop. Jakuzure pits numerous cultural clubs against the two of them, and Ryuko very nearly loses Senketsu. However, with Mako’s intervention, she gets her Godrobe back, and manages to escape the Jakuzure’s clutches. Tsumugu also escapes, but for how long remains to be seen, as Jakuzure’s true aim was not to eliminate him then and there, but to gather combat data on him so they can eliminate him next time.
We’re introduced to the group Nudist Beach in this episode, which Tsumugu is a part of, and it appears Mikisugi is as well. Their name fits quite well with their aim, actually. Taking down the Kiryuin family without the need for clothing. More specifically, uniforms. Plus they probably just enjoy getting naked, considering this is Kill la Kill. Tsumugu appears to have a personal interest in this as well, as he lost someone to either a Godrobe or Ultima Uniform. In his flashback, we see a woman torn apart, and Tsumugu in a white lab coat. Was he a part of the team researching Life Fibres? What does he know about them? He claims Senketsu will corrupt Ryuko and lead her down the path of destruction, possibly causing her to become more of a threat to the country than Satsuki. Are Gobrobes truly insidious creatures? The previews for the next episode show Junketsu going crazy, so there is every chance they are. But that could also be dependant on the particular Godrobe in question.
The relationship between Ryuko and Senketsu doesn’t seem particularly malignant at this stage, however. In fact, it seems to be developing in a positive direction. The two have actually become close friends, to the point where Senketsu tells Ryuko to abandon him and shields her from Tsugumu’s bullet. Ryuko, however, refuses to take Senketsu off for the sake of their friendship. This is a real development, as Ryuko no longer sees Senketsu as a means of combating Satsuki. What does worry me, though, is the fact that when Ryuko truly wears Senketsu, he has said they “are as one”, if I remember correctly. Could this progress into Ryuko and Senketsu becoming a single entity? Perhaps this is what Tsumugu fears.
Mako and Ryuko are getting closer every week, too. But more and more, I am getting the feeling that there’s more to Mako than meets the eye. As others on the Internet have pointed out, during the chase scene between Ryuko and Tsumugu, a lot of the incapacitated students had been knocked out by brooms. Who was using brooms at this time to clean the girl’s bathroom? Mako. This could be a red herring, but just to put it out there, I think Mako is going to end up being more than comic relief in the end.
The other relationship I was surprised by was that of Satsuki and Jakuzure. I definitely wasn’t expecting her to be Satsuki’s oldest supporter, and for the two to know each other so well! The series had definitely played Ira to be the one in that role so far, and one would expect that, but having the lazy and conceited Deva play the role of Oldest Supporter makes for a nice change. Does that means Jakuzure has the most combat experience? She’s obviously very guile and lives up to her name namesake of The Snake, which would explain why Satsuki keeps her around and why she trusts her so much. I anticipate her inevitable battle with Ryuko will be extremely challenging, as thus far Ryuko has relied less on tactics and more on her overwhelming strength. For an opponent like Jakuzure, I don’t think this will be enough.
Ryuko, as a combatant, is obviously going to need to work on areas outside of her physical capabilities, and I think she’s going to be alerted to this next week. It appears that she plans to challenge the Deva Sanageyama, and the shorts indicate she’s not doing too well. Senketsu mentioned this week Ryuko was getting a bit cocky, possibly foreshadowing her reckless decision to challenge Sanageyama. Next week will probably be an episode of growth for Ryuko, where she is either beaten thoroughly, or wins by a hair’s breadth. Either way, I think some serious character progression is coming up for her.